Four Russians charged with war crimes
Four Russian men accused of torturing an American during the invasion of Ukraine have been charged with war crimes, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.
It is the first prosecution against members of the Russian armed forces in connection with atrocities during Moscow’s war against Ukraine and it is the first time the Justice Department has brought charges under a nearly 30-yearold statute that makes it a crime to subject an American to torture or inhumane treatment during a war.
The charges are largely symbolic for now, given the unlikely prospects of the department bringing any of the four defendants, who are fugitives, into custody. But U.S. officials described the case as a historymaking moment in their investigation into Russian war crimes.
“This is our first, and you should expect more,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.
The Russians are accused of kidnapping an American man in 2022 from his home in a Ukrainian village, beating and interrogating him while holding him for 10 days at a Russian military compound, before eventually being evacuated with his wife, who is Ukrainian.
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